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Showing posts from December, 2008

Review Of Damnation

Copyright © by Dan Schneider Bela Tarr became the most well known Hungarian director of films with the 1987 release of Damnation (Kárhozat). And, it’s no wonder. While not an inarguably great film, it is certainly close, and a good case for its greatness can be made. More cogently, the film showed Tarr as a filmmaker who is singular, despite some manifest parallels to the work of Andrei Tarkovsky and Theo Angelopoulos. This 117 minute long black and white film, shown in a 1.66:1 aspect ratio is similar, in structure, to Tarkovsky’s Stalker, and in pacing to Angelopoulos’s films, although its visual imagery is straight out of the Italian Neo-Realism of the 1940s and 1950s. The film opens with a long slow pullback from a hot of a tramway of mining buckets moving back and forth, suspended over a bleak landscape, part of a small mining town. The sounds of the mechanized drudgery set the tone for the film, and as the camera pulls back from the buckets we see that we are inside an apartmen

Bazin on Umberto D.

Excerpt from " What is Cinema ? " in defence of De Sica's Umberto D (1952) : "L'impossibilité où nous sommes d'en analyser les caractéristiques formelles ne procède-t-elle pas de ce qu'il représente l'expression la plus pure du néo-réalisme, de ce que Voleur de bicyclette en est comme le point zéro de référence, le centre idéal autour duquel gravitent sur leur orbite particulière les œuvres des autres grands metteurs en scène. Ce serait cette pureté même qui le rendrait indéfinissable puisqu'elle a pour propos paradoxal non point de faire spectacle qui semble réel, mais inversement d'instituer la réalité en spectacle : un homme marche dans la rue et le spectateur s'étonne de la beauté d'un homme qui marche. Jusqu'à plus ample informé, jusqu'à ce que soit réalisé le rêve de Zavattini de filmer sans montage quatre-vingt-dix-minutes de la vie d'un homme, Voleur de Bicyclette [Bicycle Thieves, 1948] est sans conteste l'e

Where is cinema heading to?

Short videos on this question answered by Jia Zhang-ke, Hou Hsiao-hsien, Lisandro Alonso and Albert Serra. Jia Zhang-ke (Chinese + French subs) 58" [ centrepompidou ] Jia Zhang-ke : "I'm very confident in the future of cinema and I'm confident about new media, like internet or cell phones, that allow the audience to watch movies. But I'm also certain that the movie houses will last long. It's extremely important that the audience could gather in a common place to watch a filmic work. The size of the screen begs for respect, both for the work and the audience. This mutual respect will continue. And this is how I envision the future of cinema. Merci" Hou Hsiao-hsien (chinese + French subs) 1'25" [ centrepompidou ] HHH: "Well it's not like writting... where we only need a pen and a paper. To work with cinema it's different. Question is : what is the difference between images and words? It's totally different. How are we going